"A Renaissance Runs Through It--What Pittsburgh’s latest comeback tells us about urban revitalization"
Detailed analysis of what has worked and what hasn't in reviving Pittsburgh. Some of the choicest bits:
They’d been too busy imagining what East Liberty should look like instead of observing what was going on in the street—how developers and customers and tenants behaved in the current market. “Test to the market” became ELDI’s new mantra, and it led to some new strategies. . . .
“We realized that crime is a non-negotiable,” says ELDI’s deputy director, Skip Schwab. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re high-income or low-income, black or white, homeowner or renter, people don’t want to move into a neighborhood that is unsafe. . . .
What can other cities learn from Pittsburgh’s renaissances? The first lesson is the one that Jane Jacobs saw early on: beware of master planners, especially when they’re spending other people’s money.
And that brings us to the second lesson from Pittsburgh’s renaissances: the master planners never go away—they just change tactics.